Boys born in south of England 'live eight years longer' than those born in the north

ONS report reveals areas where people are expected to live the longest

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Boys born in parts of the south of England are expected to live up to eight years longer than those born in the northwest, official figures suggest.

Males born in the affluent area of south Cambridgeshire have the highest longevity at 83.0 years – nearly nine years longer than in the area with the lowest, Blackpool (74.3 years).

Girls born in Chiltern, in Buckinghamshire, can expect to live longest (86.4 years), more than six years longer than Manchester, where life expectancy was lowest (80 years), according to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The ONS report highlights a stark contrast between life expectancy on either side of the north-south divide, with overall life expectancy higher in the south than in the north or the midlands.

Meanwhile, the age people in England and Wales are expected to live to has risen from 78.1 years to 79.3 years for men and 82.3 years to 83 for women between 2007 and 2009, and 2011 and 2013.

Simon Bottery, director of policy at the charity Independent Age, said the figures show that while the population is living longer lives, the health inequality gap is widening.

Babies arriving in the south-east were expected to live the longest, with life expectancy at 80.4 years for males and 84.1 years for females.

Conversely, they were lowest in the north-west for males (78 years) and in the north-east for females (81.7 years).

However, the ONS said life expectancy is continuing to increase at a faster pace in the northern regions and in London than the other southern regions.

It said one possible explanation for this could be the varying rate of decrease in deaths from avoidable causes across English regions.

The report added: "Since 2001, the greatest reduction in deaths rates for potentially avoidable causes such as certain cancers, respiratory and heart disease have been seen in the North East, North West and London."

Mr Bottery said: "There are clear variations between different areas of the country, with higher life expectancy in the South and lower life expectancy in North."

"While there are a range of reasons for such regional variations, this continued increase in health inequalities must be addressed. Sufficient services and resources should be made available to support older people's health and social care needs in local areas most at risk."

Additional reporting by PA

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